NEIL Lennon last night hit back at claims that Kristoffer Ajer will leave Celtic this summer and stressed the Parkhead club will decide when their players depart.

Ajer’s agent Tore Pedersen this week told newspapers in Norway that the centre half has attracted widespread interest and will move on at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

However, the 21-year-old is under contract until 2022 and Lennon stated the treble treble winners will have the final say on when the defender goes. 

“I’ve heard about the comments and I’m aware of it,” he said. “At the end of the day, the club will decide when players go. Not agents or players themselves.

“Kris has never made any indication he wants to leave. He’s happy here, he’s been playing very well, he’s been very consistent. I think the agent has shot himself in the foot there.

“We have him tied down to a long-term contract so we’ll decide, not anyone else. There’s not been any interest in him that I’m aware of, certainly no one has called me about him.”

Lennon also admitted that Celtic’s plans to strengthen their squad in the summer had been thrown into turmoil by the postponement of matches across Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Everything is up in the air at the moment, recruitment, the lot,” he said. “I mean, who are we going to watch? All of the games are off.

“We are going to end up watching the old black and white reels of Stanley Matthews!

“It’s a disaster at the moment for all of that type of work as we’re all left twiddling out thumbs at the minute.

“There are also players out of contract in June. What happens to them? They would be free to go, I’d imagine. They might not want to play if there’s five games in June. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”